Do you want to get world-wide attention?
Guest posting is one of the easiest ways to reach a large audience.
If readers like your post, they might subscribe to your blog, share your post so that it reaches an even wider audience, and even buy your product or service.
No matter how you look at it, it’s a win-win situation. At least, it should be.
Here are four steps to a successful guest post:
Step 1: Analyze the host blog to see what readers like and want.
Step 2: Come up with a guest post idea.
Step 3: Read the Guest Post Guidelines.
Step 4: Write a guest post pitch to the blogger you want to target.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
However, most potential guest posters don’t bother to read our guidelines.
5 Guest Post Pitches to Avoid
Here are five types of guest post pitches we receive on Write to Done that are guaranteed to make us run for cover.
1. Look At ME!
This type of guest blogger is very confident. They are delighted with themselves, and are sure others love them too. Here is a double dose sampler.
I really like your blog and its great content.
I represent Atlanta Dry Cleaning, the best company to get your dry cleaning done in Atlanta. Your readers will love to know about our great dry cleaning services, so I want to send you a guest post. Don’t worry, it will be original and fresh content.
Atlanta Dry Cleaning
I’m from the London Real Estate Company, and want to tell your readers about the real estate they could buy in London. It will be useful and interesting information. The article will be exclusive to you, and you don’t even need to pay me for it!
All I need is that you give me a link to my website.
London Real Estate Company
Are they serious?!
We respond politely, explaining that ours is a website on writing, for writers, and their topic would not be a good fit.
We also refer to our Guest Post Guidelines.
But of course, if someone is over-confident, they think guidelines don’t apply to them.
2. The Ping-Pong Player
The ping-pong player writer has ideas at the same speed as the ping-pong ball hits the table during a game. Their speed and brilliance dazzle so much, I’m tempted to reach for my sunglasses.
Here’s how it goes:
I write articles on writing, and here are a few links to articles I’ve written already.
I’d like to contribute a guest post on how to overcome writer’s block.
WTD (10am): This is a very common topic. Please send an outline of the post’s content. It needs to be fresh and engaging if we are to publish it.
PPP (10.01am): Okay, how about an article on using good grammar?
WTD (10.02am): Please send me an outline.
PPP (10.03am): I’ll send you 500-700 words on where to find ideas for writing.
WTD (10.04am): Please visit our Guest Post Guidelines, and send me an outline of your proposed guest post.
PPP (10.05am): Okay. You tell me which topic you want.
I’m limp with exhaustion by now and have decided to give up.
PPP (10.06am): You send me a topic and I’ll write an article your readers will really enjoy.
I don’t think so!
A meaningful post requires careful thought. It’s hard to take such an-idea-each-second guest post proposals seriously. They always peter out eventually.
3. The Generous Expert
The Generous Expert is usually an inexperienced writer who wants use guest blogging to create their platform.
I’ve just joined a course on writing, and I would like to share my expert tips on your website for writers. Writing is very important, and people should do it every day so that they become good writers. It would be good for other writers to know this kind of expert information as it will help them to practice and become good writers. They need to learn and get some experience.
Since I am learning this, I have all the knowledge and I’m happy to share it with the readers of your website.
Whatever happened to learning and knowing before you set out to teach?
Oops! Experts don’t need to learn …
I pass up their generous offer.
4. The Jumbled-up Writer
The jumbled-up writer can write. Quite well, at times. But –
I’ve decided to send you my awesome article on 10 ways to improve your writing. Here is an outline of the post:
It is really important to write well, and we all want to do so. Here are 10 simple ways you can improve your writing:
- Write every day.
- Read good books, whether they are on writing or not.
- Think that you can improve your writing.
- Count the number of words you write every day.
- Pay attention to grammar.
- Avoid cliches.
- Use a fountain pen to write. Your handwriting will be clearer, and this is another way to improve your writing.
- Use language appropriate for your audience.
- Edit everything you write.
- Remove adjectives and adverbs.
Let me know what you think, and I’ll send you the entire article.
WTD: It’s difficult to understand how Points 3, 4 and 7 will help readers improve their writing. Points 5 and 10 can be omitted altogether, because while editing (Point 9), you will pay attention to grammar.
Also, it might be a good idea to organize the points in some order, rather than arrange them in random fashion.
JW: Actually, I thought 10 would be a nice round number for the title of the post and I couldn’t think of more than 7, so I added those 3.
WTD: Let’s just go with 6 Ways to …, unless you can come up with more ways.
Readers prefer reading useful stuff, no matter how many or few points it makes. Getting fixated on an idea is not the way to create good content. Let your content decide your title, rather than the other way around.
To create great content, order your ideas logically, so that when people read your guest post, they feel like they’re cruising smoothly, rather than jolting along on a rutted road.
5. The Do-it-Now! Writer
The do-it-now! writer is excited by what they have to say. They’ve thought about their topic, researched it, and written it. Time to send it out!
Here’s my post on how to find the time to write.
Writing doesnt mean you must need have to write for hours at a time. It’s imptant to write – that’s all. Depending on what you’re writing, even a 15-minute time slot will allows you to write. So onabusy day, you may write only one time slot of 15 minutes, but on anotherday you mite write four slots of 15 mintues!
Obviously, the do-it-now! writer can write, and has something to write about. But that’s no excuse for sending an unedited piece of writing. All writers need to edit their work, but guest post writers need to do so more diligently than others.
This is a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the guest post pitches we receive at Write to Done. Rather than reproducing the exact pitch, I chose the less offensive path of showcasing the spirit of each of these emails.
Guest posting is quite simple, really. It’s about focusing on the needs of the audience.
Once you focus on your readers, all you need is good writing and good editing. You’ll soon see your guest posts published and your readership growing.
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